4aAA6. Analysis of subjective acoustic measures and speech intelligibility in Portuguese churches.

Session: Thursday Morning, May 16

Time: 10:25

Author: Antonio P. O. Carvalho
Author: Antonio Morgado
Location: Acoust. Lab., Dept. of Civil Eng., College of Eng., Univ. of Porto, R. Bragas, 4099 Porto Codex, Portugal
Author: Luis Henrique
Location: School of Music-ESMAE, 4000 Porto, Portugal


This study reports on subjective acoustical field measurements made in a survey of 36 Catholic churches in Portugal built in the last 14 centuries. The same group of college students were asked to judge the quality of speech and music at all the churches. Two sets of listeners in each church evaluated live music performance (cello and oboe) at two similar locations in each of the rooms using a seven-point semantic differential rating scale. An acoustical evaluation sheet was used to measure listeners overall impression of room acoustics qualities, and each of the factors that can contribute to that perception as loudness, reverberance, intimacy, envelopment, balance, clarity, echoes, and background noise. Speech intelligibility tests were also given to the same group in each church. One-hundred-word lists were used in live speech tests using a theater college student as speaker. The results are graphed and analyzed by comparisons. Variations of subjective and speech intelligibility qualities were identified among the different churches and within each of the churches as well. For instance, church mean values for the intelligibility scores range from 56% to 96% correct words and the variability within each room extent from 6% to 49%. The subjective qualities that contributed to overall acoustical impression were also identified. [Work supported by CEDEC, ESMAE and UP-Portugal.]

from ASA 131st Meeting, Indianapolis, May 1996